Visual Blog of Jennafer Zalenski



Similar. 2010. Cut paper and drawing.

Unseens is a short series relating the body to emotions. The physical body takes action in each drawing: shielding, speaking, opening. In each, the emotional chain reaction is juxtaposed with a hazy external reality. The body is where the outside world becomes real, traveling synapses to be processed into our personal history. The artist wonders at the definition of these consequences. How does the written record become faulty, and where do the lines become vague?

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a pleasant afternoon.

Give/Receive Piece

Just to warn you, this is older work from 2010. The next few posts will follow suit, as I am trying to collect my images onto one site (and stay there). I am proud of these works, and they represent the origins of how I create now.

A collection of drawings titled "Give/Receive":

The sentiment behind these drawings is a power imbalance: the responsibility of the rich to the poor, of parents, rulers, gods to those subject to their power. A reverence for power pervades contemporary America, where I live and work. I must say, the artist is biased in her representation of a system that not many feel is fair. But I try to take the effect, and produce a symbiotic relationship between my rulers and subjects. The subjects may be stuck, and the rulers may be clueless, but they are bound together. And as caricatures, the persons inside may switch places often throughout a lifetime.

Even though we may not like it, life always serves a higher purpose.

Most Recent Completion


24 Hours In

Well, it's probably closer to 40. But, I'll reiterate, it is immensely satisfying to look back at the past 4 days, and say I worked every single one of them. After being out of work for so long, sitting at home worried about looming bills, about when the cupboards would finally be bare, it's freeing to be doing something.

Also, this time I am getting paid. The team of contractors who have been alternately demolishing and rebuilding our landlord's house for the past two weeks had been secretly peeking over my shoulder while I drafted. One was impressed enough to commission two portraits of family members. I've been posting the progress to @IzzenArt

It's a grueling, large-format drawing, but it's work. I do want every image I make to be a masterpiece, in its own way. No matter what the pay rate, no matter the subject, the work is worth it to create something of value. Something that exercises my skill, and will be appreciated. It's only selling out if I do not put my full effort into it. It's only selling out if I can't stand behind my end product. You can inject art into the most mundane tasks imaginable by simply committing yourself to the concept.

I say that now, and yet if corrections need to be made, I know my heart will sink thinking about investing more time. I'll sell out this round so I can buy in the next. C'est la vie.



I have been working on a new series of drawings this week. Feels good to sit down for 8 hours today, almost like a real job. Only, y'know, I'm actually doing work.

It's been a long time since I have been motivated enough to commit myself to the craft. I've been practically obligated to do it for over a year, and this is the first serious attempt.

It helps to picture myself as two people: the employee, and the boss. I like being a good employee, and I like being a fair boss, so this technique has been wonderful for my self-esteem, giving me a sense of satisfaction no matter what I get done, or how the end product looks instead of beating myself up and wondering if it's really worth the effort. When I begin to question, I imagine my "boss" self looking over my shoulder. If the boss says to do it, I do it. No questions asked.

In only two days, I've completed a highly detailed drawing, soon to be showcased. It used to take me weeks, back when I was only a "part-time" employee.
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